Today I began my day by reading the latest issue of Minneapolis St. Paul Magaizine. I read a brilliant article by Bette Sack about a mother(well-seasoned) and daughter(middle-aged) out on their weekly shopping excursion through the skyways of downtown. The mother stops and stares at a shiny pair of deliciously red pumps in a store window and states that she always wanted a pair of red shoes. She is now nearing the end of her life and her feet bear that of a long journey through life. Her daughter brings her into the store where the kind sales associate finds her size and fits her with her new pair of shoes. The shoes brought out the soul of her in her younger days as she proudly walked in them the rest of the day. That day remains a bright memory for the author and she reminds us of the countless hours we spend working and taking care of others - and that every once in a while, we should treat ourselves to something frivolous - something we don't need... just something we've always wanted for one reason or another.
The author goes on to explain that she never saw those shoes again until they were packing her mom's belongings for her final move into a nursing home. She suggests that "what adds zest to our lives is what creates memories that lift our spirits and live long in our hearts." For her mother, it was that red pair of shoes.
So I'm thinking, do I have "red shoes" - what would mine be? Something frivolous, not necessary, but zesty. Hmmm.... and then I remember what I've always wanted: a subscription to the flower of the month club. One of those memberships from a fancy catalog that boasts fresh-cut amaryllis in a contemporary glass vase with stones in the bottom - brought right to my door on an otherwise gray day in December. Or fragrant peonies tied at the stems with a simple, elegant ribbon on a late June afternoon. So as Ms. Sack suggests, What are your red shoes? You should have them.
Silver Lining: My life is already filled to the brim with memories of friends and family - the membership I cherish most. And there's a good chance... "if you give Julie a subscription to the Flower of the Month Club... she's going to want a friend with some time for a nice conversation and a chilled lemonade to go with it..."